Time Off For Good Behaviour

Time off Beer & Crisps

I haven’t been convicted of any crime, nor am I admitting to have I committed one. Rather my time off for good behaviour is for being a good little runner bee for the last while and respectfully obeying the marathon training plan given to me by my now mates, Douglas and Pfitzinger. I’m quite sure that they don’t know they’re my mates and indeed might be a little frightened by this information, but I’m okay with that. By following their plan, I ran a PR for the marathon and remained injury-free throughout. Happy days.

Lots more time hanging with Molly this week, including a few leafy strolls...
Lots more time hanging with Molly this week, including a few leafy strolls…

For the last 7 days since running the Dublin Marathon, I’ve been indulging in time off from running. I did not run a single day. Confession: I did do a lot of research and reading about marathon recovery plans. I found that these varied quite a bit, some involving running 3 runs in the first 7 days following a marathon, others involving none. My own feelings on it are that in the time immediately following a big run like this, the most important thing is to listen to your body and to give it time to recover. Yes, it’s annoying losing all the fitness you’ve worked so hard on but what would be more annoying and frustrating would be to cause injury to yourself by starting back too soon. The damage caused to muscles and connective tissue in your body during a marathon NEED TIME to repair. Don’t be a tool fool. Show some respect for your body, not your ego.

Craving lemon things all week...see how this muffin glows in the sunshine!
Craving lemon things all week…see how this muffin glows in the sunshine!

I’ve slept A LOT in the last 7 days, sometimes napping in the afternoon where I’ve been able to, and I also did a few gentle cycles and walks to loosen up my legs and mostly, just to get out into the fresh air and enjoy all the autumn goodness. There has also been a good amount of food, halloween movies and Netflix.

Today is day 8 post-marathon and in all honesty, I am done with rest and recovery. By yesterday, I had become quite bored with it all and couldn’t wait to get back to my normal eating routines and running lifestyle. I did my first run this morning post-marathon and I felt brilliant afterwards. All it was a very easy 3 miles – I didn’t feel spectacular, it wasn’t a particularly good run for any reason, but it gave routine to my day and a feeling of satisfaction that I’ve missed, even if it’s only been gone for 7 days.

I know it will be a while before my running schedule will be back up and, ahem, running… and I will be taking it very slow, remaining conscious not to rush back into things, but it’s nice to feel like I’m on the way back from being away. Coming home from being on holiday. Holiday is nice for a while and sometimes we think we’d like to stay there forever, but after 2 weeks of seaside, pizza, ice-cream and sangria, you realise you’ve had enough. It’s time to go home.

How long do you take after a marathon before starting running again?

Are you glad to have time off after a big race like the marathon?

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